The Reality of Hybrid Training

If asked in 2019, do you think virtual and hybrid training would be an acceptable way to teach ICS 300 and ICS 400, I would have said “no way.”

At the end of that year the firm that I founded was very much still committed to traditional classroom training deliveries. We had acquired a training space east of Denver and had built it out with a main room, conference room and a few offices. One of those offices initially was designed to broadcast a podcast from. This was all in an effort to be more effective in our communication with key clients in the Rocky Mountain West and Alaska, and possibly start down the road of virtual live distance learning.

As Covid became a reality, so did the concept of how to deliver standard curriculums. Fast forward to 2023. The Blue Cell, LLC has now mastered the concepts of both VILT (virtual instructor lead training) and adding to that a live classroom. We are now being contracted to deliver not only ICS 300 and ICS 400 in a hybrid configuration, but also other courses and levels of exercise.

Through trial and error over the past few years, hundreds of deliveries and constantly looking to adjust and improve how to do it, we are now confident delivering any course in these advanced configurations.

Last week we found validation in our concepts with a delivery for a unique client. It wasn’t a Fortune 10 company, or the DOD, or a major jurisdiction.

The client was FEMA Region 8 Staff !

After 15 years in business this was the first time our minority and veteran owned business had ever been asked to do something directly by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Being only 15 miles as the crow flies from our offices we were honored to train and support with our broadcast from their offices on the west side of Denver.

The delivery itself ended up with 10 students in the classroom and 13 students online virtually. The course had tuning in participants from Montana, Department of Defense personnel, local FEMA personnel, FEMA IMAT members and the FBI.

Our primary platform, Microsoft Teams worked flawlessly and The Blue Cell, LLC team of instructors and techs did an amazing job.

The seamlessness’ of this delivery puts to bed once and for all can it be done, is it allowed, and how do you do it / what are best practices.

I am grateful for the talented team and equally talented and eager students and want to thank our strategic partner The Colorado Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for their consistent support.  

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